So, you want to restrict your job opportunities to simply teaching, right? Or so the mass misconception believes! We all know better — earning English degrees will do more for you than just learning how to teach language and writing or get your nose stuck in a book. Doing it abroad will allow you to frequent the inspirations for some of the greatest literary masterpieces of our time. Become your own Sherlock Holmes as you navigate across your new home, solving epic mysteries, and making new acquaintances (while knocking out a couple of assignments along the way).
Why Earn an English Degree Abroad
While degrees in science can restrict a student to only pursuing a career in STEM, having a degree in English opens up the doors to many different fields of employment. It will help to trigger your skills in critical thinking and analysis, massaging a sharp mind and polishing off your quick wit—an employable feat in any walk of life. From teaching, writing, performing, broadcasting, media, administration, and journalism, you will discover that it serves as a stepping stone to the whole world.
While studying in your home country is all fine and dandy, English universities abroad can provide you with the golden college experience. Immersing yourself in your new environment will awaken your senses to all of the various cultures which exist worldwide, sharpening your creative mind, which will enable you to think of innovative approaches to your academic work. Your time abroad will allow you to meet people across the world who are likeminded, yet still possess so much for you to learn from. An opportunity for travel rarely comes at the right time, so here is one served right on a platter for you take — eat it up!
So you’ve made the pivotal decision in pursuing your English degree abroad? Great! However, you still need to figure it out where it is you would like to go. Make sure you take your time on deliberating, as you will want to make sure you make the most appropriate choice for yourself.
The obvious choice for getting a degree in English would be England itself! With its posh universities, romantic palaces, and cute accents, the United Kingdom seems like the dream place to study. London will give you the big city experience—from its old pubs to the more modern nightclubs, art galleries, and public parks, there is always something new to find in every corner. Such amenities will be great for when you are taking a break from studying or essay-writing. They may even offer you a source of inspiration when you have writer’s block!
Of course, you don’t need to go to England to get a degree in English. Don’t overlook its neighbor Ireland—The Emerald Isle! With its fascinating mythological associations and vast green landscapes, roaming mountains and dramatic coastlines, Ireland begs for its visitors to explore! All of the residents speak English while also offering a few little fun colloquialisms for you to pick up. The phrase “any crack?” will take on a whole new meaning for you! Dublin is fast becoming one of Europe’s most artistic hubs with many art festivals taking over the city at any given time.
Want to hit the books in a non-English speaking country to have the Thaime of your life? Travel further overseas to places in Asia, such as Thailand, where English degrees are also offered. Immerse yourself into a brand new culture as you discover a new approach to literature and writing. In your free time, you can get some sun on the beaches or shop to your heart’s delight in Bangkok. Venture to nearby countries like China and Malaysia to get the full Eastern experience—the locals you meet may just become characters in your next book! Being so far away from home might seem a little daunting at first; however, the more you settle into your new home the more liberated you will feel.
English Degrees Abroad
Whatever stage you find yourself in your academic career, there is always boundless opportunities to take the leap to get a degree abroad. It’s not just the undergrads who get to live it up overseas, those of you reaching the end of your university life, can also find a suitable degree to cap off your college life!
Undergraduate: These take roughly three to four ears to complete, depending on where you travel. Courses in the best undergraduate English programs are broken down into classes called modules, which focus on a particular area, such as studying a certain era in the past. You will most likely be developing critiques on gender/racial/sexuality comments on what you study during your English bachelor degree, so be prepared to do a lot of reading! However, it will introduce you to a lot of underrated authors who don’t necessarily receive the glory of Shakespeare (don’t worry, you’ll still come across this old lad a lot).
Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in English will have a narrower focus on what you learned during your undergraduate years. Graduate degrees will accredit you with specific knowledge on a particular field, so you should take the time to assess your interests before deciding on the right level of education. Obtaining an international English bachelor degree is generally more popular than graduate programs.
Programs will expect you to write well-written and polished work, formulate well-conceived opinions on various topics, and source appropriate references to support your arguments. For many international students whose first language isn’t English, it can be hard to figure out the in’s and out’s of grammar. Many universities offer guidance and essay-writing workshops to strengthen your skills when writing assignments—so even if you grew up with English but still get confused about when to use the semicolon, take the time to drop in and get informed.
Benefits & Challenges
The greatest part about studying abroad is the chance to see the world! Once you catch a waft of a freshly baked slice, you will want to buy the whole pie. Picture all of the amazing photos and memories that you will create in a brand new country. It will open your mind to new ideas and ways of thinking, which will help you in pursuing a degree in English, for it is all about using your mind and creativity (and for more fodder when you put that pen to paper).
One of the challenges to studying abroad can be the hefty fees and day-to-day costs. Particularly in European cities, inflation is on the rise, and a simple cup of coffee can seem like a huge expense to students. And boy do students need their coffee! Local students are well adept to figuring out the cheapest ways of getting around. If you want to get thrifty, ask one of your peers for advice on your situation. Someone has always been through it before you. Budget your expenditures so you have plenty of wiggle room for good eats while away from home.
A major downside for bibliophiles like yourself is the general weight of books. They’re not particularly convenient to travel with, but if you opt into the tablet-world with a Kindle or equivalent, your bookshelf can travel with you.
An English degree is a key to unlocking the rest of the world. From intense discussions on Sylvia Plath poetry to understanding cultural references to Oedipus and Shakespeare, you will find that such a token can be used in just about any corner of the world.